Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Tuesday the trial session of detained photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shwakan, to 9 August, due to the involuntarily absence of the journalist and his 738 co-defendants.
“The Security Directorate addressed the court to announce that the defendants will not be able to be transferred from prison to the courtroom, due to security reasons which it did not specify,” said Karim Abdul Rady, a lawyer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) who is working on the case.
“This is going to mark almost three years for the defendants’ imprisonment, without trial. One day, if they are ever acquitted from charges, nothing will make up for the three years they have spent in jail,” Abdul Rady said in Tuesday comments to Daily News Egypt.
According to the lawyer, Shawkan’s release is conditioned by a judge’s decision, even if outside a court session. “But so far, this is the only way we get to speak to a judge and present our requests for his release,” he explained.
Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 during his coverage of the forceful dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adaweya pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in. There have been numerous local and international calls for his release, but there has been no progress in his case.